About the Host School
Currently there are over 1,600 students enrolled from ages of 15-18. The facilities are very good and include computer and language labs, indoor and outdoor stadiums and dormitories for the large cohort of weekly and full boarders. The school attracts a very high proportion of well educated and well qualified teachers and is a highly sought after setting for Chinese educators.
About the IB Centre
The IB Centre opened with the first student intake in September 2011. Currently there are 212 students in three year groups with 16 expatriate teachers and 5 Chinese teachers. Our students are lively and interesting young people who have adapted to a new pedagogy, new school and new teachers. Many are also boarding for the first time. They are keen to learn and excited about the challenge of the IB and the requirement to study in English. The centre has access to all resources from the host school, including science labs, IT, studios, and lecture theatres. It also has its own classrooms, study rooms, teacher rooms, printing room and meeting room.
We have a new prep room for our three Science labs, a new music room, a greatly expanded IB library, and several new classrooms to accommodate our larger student population.
Our students are very active in extracurricular activities. The IB CAS program (Creativity, Action, Service) requires students to actively take part in and reflect on extracurricular work; at our centre we have a very wide range of CAS clubs: football, table tennis, volleyball, dance, yoga, Roots & Shoots, MUN, Aviation, carpentry, French, video club, yearbook, arts and crafts, peer tutoring, photography, choir, “City Explorer”, and more.
Shanghai is an exciting "cutting edge" cosmopolitan city with a multitude of activities. It is an architecture lover’s dream, with ultramodern skyscrapers, colonial lane houses, and Buddhist temples virtually side-by-side. There are exhibitions, jazz clubs, shopping malls and many quaint side streets with small restaurants to sample. With friendly local people and a large expatriate community it is easy to make friends. Shanghai offers a fast-paced urban lifestyle for the on-the-go professional with simple or sophisticated tastes. Travel opportunities abound both domestically and around Asia.
Our teachers live within a 30-minute walk/10 minute drive of the school in northern Shanghai, though some staff do live closer to downtown. Shanghai has a great public transport system and the thousands of taxis offer convenient travel to and from downtown.
Teacher Case Study
Margaret Hadley, Centre Principal
I have been in education for 35 years. 15 years of my educational career was spent as a School Principal of K-12 school for 850 students in Sydney, Australia. Prior to that I was a Vice Principal of a Melbourne Girls School and a Head of Science. I have taught Physics, Chemistry and Biology and some sports including hockey and athletics. I have taught and consulted in Australia, the UK, Kuwait, Abu Dhabi at both school and University level. I was a research scientist prior to my career in education.
My post as a Centre Principal is a very 'hands-on’ role. I am responsible for guiding new staff and students into an entirely new pedagogical learning environment. I work very closely with a team of expatriate teachers new to China to form a strong working group who support the students and one another, and also with the Chinese staff from Dipont and the school to build a supportive team with a common mission. I also work with my team to create a suitable IB learning environment, both physical and pedagogical, within a school which also delivers the Chinese Curricula.
I see many opportunities to benefit professionally and personally in China; I can guide young Chinese students to 'learn how to learn’, assist young Chinese students to successfully achieve the IB Diploma within a Chinese state school, and deliver the IB Curriculum which ensures all involved teachers are continuous learners.
Additionally, I am enjoying this opportunity to work in China and be involved in an entirely new and challenging learning project, and it has been my pleasure to teach such enthusiastic students.
All teachers at our centre work hard and the school day is lengthy, i.e. 7.30am-5.10pm on three weekdays. We all have good accommodation quite close to the school, and we have good opportunities to explore Shanghai and other parts of China. We are all enjoying getting to know our Chinese students and colleagues.
Student Case Study
Being a typical Chinese student throughout my first 15 years, I was amazed when I first looked into what the IB program could offer. For me, IB is not merely an educational organization but a glittering lamp leading me to pursue my personal ideal relentlessly and to become a whole person who can think comprehensively and globally, or even ahead of others. It’s a huge transition for me to step out of my little limited world after completing middle school in a traditional Chinese school. Then, 2012 September starts my real IB year. I found it really challenges me and stretches me to my outer limits. Six core subjects, Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge, CAS, deadlines, papers, and assignments consist of my high school life and make me busy like a worker bee. But at the same time, I have a strong sense of fulfillment. Now, my journey of learning has just started and I can clearly see my future with eternal faith embedded in my heart. I’m proud of being an IB student.
Personally, I really gained a lot in studying in this program. Every time I stand up and present my ideas in front of the class, some kind of trivial improvement is made. In my IGCSE year, I could not help myself staring at a solid point or reading through my speech while presenting to the audience in English. To be honest, at that time speaking English almost drove me crazy. I know exactly what I am trying to say, but I just lack tools to convey it, especially when I feel intimidated. Now I am a lot more confident in delivering class speeches and feel happy to express myself better.
Can we really trust experts? What is the ethical way of doing things? How do we learn knowledge? How do science and religion interact? I value curiosity as one of my best qualities and I learn how to be an independent thinker in this class---Theory of Knowledge. Skepticism is rare in Chinese classes but ordinary in our IB classes. Facing the facts, opinions, counter-arguments, observations, experiences - we live in a world with endless controversy. Our discussion topics range from history, science, politics, ethics, mathematics to philosophy.
I always believe that facing challenges is the quickest way to become mentally mature so I’m glad to embrace tough tasks. I’m the founder of dance club, drama club, MUN and ‘Temple Runner Project’.
Looking for a university which values inquiry and uniqueness, I think top Liberal Arts Colleges are my first choice and I wish to get my doctor degree in a world class university. I would like to engrave the motto of “possible bright future of China” on my heart no matter where I go.